25 June 2008

Good Old Danville

Many of you may/may not of heard of Danville, it's kinda like the O.C of the Bay Area. The suburburban small town I had the "privilege" of growing up in. Yes there are aspects of this town I appreciate, the fact that I could walk around town at 3:00am and have no thoughts about whether it's a "safe" neighborhood. I once left my purse in a shopping cart at Safeway and someone kindly returned it with the money still in my wallet! Well what is there that I possibly couldn't like about such a "quaint" little town. I run into to people EVERY where. Which happens in Berkeley too, but the people here are so ridiculously fake. In anywhere else seeing an eight year old with highlights and fake nails would alarm some people..but not here.

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Posted by Marissa Ponder at 0:32 | Permalink

25 June 2008

Summer Summer!!

Hey guys! Summer's finally here and I am already bored! I watched all the movies that I missed while in school during the first two weeks of summer. Then, I as I was sitting on my lawn chair enjoying the weather, I decided to write up a summer plan to keep productive. As I reccommed you should do as well, we should all make goals/ things that we never got to do during the busy school year. For me it was , EXERCISING- hitting the gym and swimming, learning to cook for next semester( i'm living in an apartment and avoiding dorm food now!!!- miss the garlic late night fries though :(. ), learning to drive the highway- yes, it sounds surprising and pathetic, but that is the sad truth, spending lots of time with the family( i do realize that my parents treat me more like an adult now that I've been in college, which is quite nice), and of course earning big money!!! ( haha...it's only minimum wage, unfortunately) I'm working at the fair right now-Alameda County fair, that is, babysitting other times, and working at New York and Company. For now, that's all I'm doing! Yes, Don't forget to also have fun with your friends! Summer should be relaxing, exciting, interesting, and eventful! Bye!

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Posted by Casey Wang at 9:49 | Permalink

23 June 2008

Health Insurance

I just found a Business Week article on insurance coverage at college. Since I am covered by health insurance provided by my parent’s employer, I choose to waive SHIP (Student Health Insurance Plan), the insurance required by the University if a student does not have major medical insurance. The article makes me think about how good SHIP is. For those of you who are still deciding whether to waive SHIP or not, visit the website at http://www.uhs.berkeley.edu/Students/insurance/index.shtml to find out more. Before making the decision, there are some problems/pitfalls one needs to watch out for: - What is covered and what is not covered by the insurance? - When does insurance coverage kick in, and for what? - Do they have a preferred network? - Know how ER works, since accidents are the most likely thing happening to college students. - … … Whether you have insurance through the school or through a parent's policy, you need to understand your policy. THINGS DO HAPPEN!

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Posted by Yang Cao at 4:36 | Permalink

22 June 2008


Hey! I hope everyone's summer is going well! I haven't been really productive...I just sit around the house all day...cooking, baking, watching tv, eating...anyways, I'm really obsessed with food. One of my favorite things to do is reading up on recipes. I usually make stuff based on what's about to go bad in the kitchen...in this case, bananas. Banana Bread DSC00442.JPG

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Posted by Victoria Eng at 9:31 | Permalink

22 June 2008

summertime peach pie

yesterday my sister came home to visit the family (she's away at college right now) and since my brothers were home too, the family was complete! i went to the farmer's market with my dad and picked up some strawberries, peaches, and apricots. then i went home and swam with my sister and mom in the (uncomfortably disgusting) overcrowded ymca pool on the neighborhood. For dinner, to celebrate the family gathering we had a yummy good ol american dinner of steak, potato salad, salad, and peach pie. DELICIOUS. I was in charge of the pie and so it was delicious (duh). just kidding. here's the recipe

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Posted by Angela Hsu at 8:49 | Permalink

11 June 2008

Summer: What to do with all that spare time?

I'm in love with the sun and not reading 1000 pages a week. I can't imagine having to go to summer school, sorry to all of you who are spending your summer in class. I'm sure everyone has been dying to know what I am I doing with all this free time? Well aside from working, I'm swimming, cycling, climbing, and going to yoga. Yep all the things I love to do, but time is limited for during the semester. This past week I did a bike ride into Tilden park and along the inspiration point path. This is great easy ride with a few small hills, but the view is spectacular. This trail also has an old Nike missile launch site which was decommissioned in the 70's, for all of you history buffs. I highly recommend visiting Tilden park this summer for an enjoyable bike ride or hike. For more information on Tilden park go to: www.ebparks.org/parks/tilden

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Posted by Marissa Ponder at 7:18 | Permalink

11 June 2008

Dream Concert/Korean pop

So it's been a few days. I've been busy pretty much every day until now. I'm using my uncle's computer, and so can't update when he's asleep. I went to the Dream Concert this past Saturday. This was a concert with some of Korea's hottest pop and hip hop groups. My mom's sister Hae-won's husband works for some press website, and so was able to get 4 passes. I went with two of my cousins, and my uncle (Mom's brother). The concert was at the Olympic Stadium, a huge structure built for the 1988 Summer Olympics. There were lines of fans outside the stadium. High school, middle school, even elementary kids were there. Most of them still had on their uniforms from school that day (kids here only get every other Saturday off). Naturally, most of these fans were girls. With our passes, we sat not on the bleachers surrounding the field, but on chairs on the field itself. We were about 70 meters from the stage. It was really really loud, with all the teenaged fans screaming their hearts out for the concert to start. It was my first time at a concert like that, and it was exhilirating (and annoying...) The concert started, and a parade of some of Korea's hottest musical acts came on one after another. No Rain or BoA (these megastars would warrant their own concert), but definitely some well known groups. Wonder Girls (with their almost maddeningly narcissistic "So Hot"), Epik High (their dramatic single "One" is quite a hit), and MC Mong (totally irreverent "Circus"). Other hit acts, such as Buga Kingz, Maya, Jewelry, and Super Junior performed. Some really catchy music...I've been listening to a little Epik High and Clazziquai right now. To my understanding, the concert was meant to be a benefit for children in North Korea. The ticket sales would be used to help poor children in North Korea. How this money will actually be distributed, I'm not really sure. I couldn't quite understand everything that was said.

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Posted by Joel Kim at 1:09 | Permalink

07 June 2008

just checking to see if i can load up pictures here.

david5.jpg SWEEET! i guess it works! now there's a face to the post i wrote about a few weeks ago. so, i will continue to shamelessly advertise my favorite american idol contestant: http://youtube.com/watch?v=1jgmCegf7WY (smoky mountain memories) http://youtube.com/watch?v=ZHqYmx2jepg&feature=related (heaven, his hollywood audtion.) http://youtube.com/watch?v=vLgjjSFURAY (shop around. watch the whole thing)

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Posted by Angela Hsu at 7:54 | Permalink

07 June 2008

summertime plans

so with this summer ahead of me, i am determined to keep busy doing productive or just fun things. i've gotta say, the worst way to spend summer is to sit around in the house watching tv. i've tried it for a few days and just get so extremely restless that I feel like i'm going crazy. so here are a few of the things i'd like to do for summer [ ]go backpacking [ ]travel travel travel [ ]cook lots of new foods [ ]go camping [ ] go swimming [ ] participate in a triathlon [ ]read a book at least every 2 weeks

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Posted by Angela Hsu at 7:08 | Permalink

06 June 2008

World Cup Stadium/Active Child

Today was the first nice day in a while, so a group of us went to the World Cup stadium. There was my grandmother, my aunts Hae-kyung and Hae-won, Hae-won's husband, their son Seung-hyun, and my uncle Dong-hwan. We bought kimbap (Rice and other things rolled in seaweed), and had a little picnic in the park near the stadium. It was really fun. Seung-hyun is so cute! He's six, now...when I saw him 4 years ago, he was just toddling around. Now he's this big bundle of energy, running around everywhere. I had a great time chasing him around and playing with him at the playground. Afterwards, Hae-won, her husband, and Seung-hyun and I went to Homever, a local shopping center. The center was located just underneath the stadium. One level had all these different clothing brands, from Adidas to Giordano to Levi's, as well as Korean brands. Another level was a supermarket, with all sorts of food, a eating area, and most importantly, free samples. A third level was full of different goods, such as tools, electronics, etc. Everywhere was supercrowded (it's Veterans' Day here in Korea), so we got what we needed and took off.

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Posted by Joel Kim at 5:41 | Permalink

06 June 2008

63 Building

Thursday, I went to the 63 (Yook Sam) Building on Yeoido with Karey and Sung. Well, that was the plan, at least. Karey's mom is a 5th grade teacher at the Yongsan army base, and her kids were coming to the tower on a field trip. The 3 of us were to follow along, and get in for free (otherwise, it would have cost 22,000 won, or $22). The plan was to meet at the building by 10 AM, and walk in together. What ended up happening was that I was late. I got out of the house late (too busy with email/Facebook), and ended up arriving at 10:30. I ran out of the subway and in the pouring rain to the building, only to see Karey...nowhere. I couldn't find him. I tried calling him several times, but he wouldn't pick up. Eventually, he called me, and told me he was in the IMAX theater. I told him I'd meet him outside. We got to see the view from the 63rd floor (the clouds and rain made for a mediocre sight, unfortunately). Sung finally joined us for lunch (Karey had failed to call him), and we all went into the aquarium. They had your standard collection of fishies, sharks, as well as jellies, reptiles, and mammalians, as well as some more interesting exhibits. The coolest was the Doctor Fish (Garra rufa). These fish feed on dead skin cells. Part of the tank had holes for fingers. When I stuck my fingers in, the fish swarmed around, picking at my fingers...It felt kind of ticklish. After the aquarium full of screaming kids, we were drained, so we went to Karey's new apartment to play video games. Karey's mom treated us out to dinner, and we went to this really cheap but decent Korean restaurant (seriously, doengjang jigae and bibimbap for 5,000 won?! Awesome!). Another fun, yet tiring day.

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Posted by Joel Kim at 5:09 | Permalink

06 June 2008


Sorry about not updating for a while. It's been super busy the past few days. This past Wednesday I went to Everland with Karey, Sung, my cousin Mi-Hyung (my mom's older sister's daughter), and her friend (forgot her name, unfortunately). Everland (or more accurately, Samsung Everland, as it's owned by the Samsung company) is an amusement park a 2 hour bus ride from Seoul. It's the largest amusement park in Korea. The park is broken up into different areas: European Adventure, American Adventure, Zoo-topia, and so on. It's very much like Disneyland, with cutesy mascots and saccharine sweet music piping through the air. They did have some pretty awesome rides. The old standbys, such as the Viking ship, the double loop roller coaster, the river raft ride...By the end of the day, I was dizzy and a bit nauseous (ugh). After we got back, Sung's dad treated us to some wonderful Italian food from a place called "Mad For Garlic." Mm, quite good, but I was dead tired at the end of the day.

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Posted by Joel Kim at 4:49 | Permalink

03 June 2008

Japanese Politics

Today, I helped a friend edit his presentation for work. While talking, I learned that his major had been Political Science. It turns out that he wants/wanted to change Japan and open it up more. I asked him why he was working as an ordinary worker instead of being involved in politics. His reasoning was that he didn't want to run against his cousin who is the politician in his district. His granduncle had been Keizo Obuchi, a past prime minister of Japan. He explained that politics is a sort of family run affair where there can only be one heir. On a similar note, I've been watching a drama called CHANGE which is about this guy running in the elections in Japan. ^^ Educational. Watch it.

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Posted by K. Lee at 7:20 | Permalink

03 June 2008

War Memorial/Yongsan Electronics Market

I went to go visit the Korean War Memorial today with Karey and Sung, two of my friends from Berkeley. Both of them are working in Seoul this summer. The memorial is dedicated primarily to the memory of the Korean War, although there are also exhibits for the other wars that Korea has been a part of. In the outside exhibit were different war apparatuses used by the two sides in the Korean War: cannons, aircraft, tanks, troop carriers, and the like. There were crowds of little kids in uniforms, out for a field trip to the museum. They prompted Sung to say "While I don't believe in God, I swear that I will never be a kindergarten teacher." The three of us headed into a special exhibit on the Dead Sea Scrolls held underground. Everything was written in Korean, and Sung had to translate all the signs for us. The exhibit was only partly on the scrolls; there were also artifacts from the early Christian era to the Byzantine era. I'd expound more, but I didn't understand everything... Afterwards, we looked around the Yongsan Electronics Market. There were many little stores selling computer hardware, laptops, cameras, phones, and all sorts of electronics. We browsed around the movies and games, and I played Burnout Paradise for a bit. I wonder about those people who make their living selling these things. They're stuck indoors, staring at screens for hours on end. Can't be good for their eys. I had a headache just walking around in there. We're supposed to go to Everland tomorrow, an amusement park outside of Seoul. Hopefully the weather cooperates.

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Posted by Joel Kim at 5:15 | Permalink

02 June 2008

An Unexpected Gift

I was chatting with my organic chem professor over at International Christian University where I'm currently studying abroad. Somehow, we got onto the topic of alcohol, and he asked me I like sake (Japanese liquor). It turns out that a graduating student of his gave him a high quality bottle, and he doesn't like sake. He prefers good old German wine. ^^. Anyways, he ended up giving me the bottle of sake for me to take home and drink with my father. ^^ He made me promise to drink it with my dad. ^^ We'll see how good it is in a month or so when I finally see my family. Yay! I'm heading home in a month! It does sad to be leaving Japan. Maybe I'll be back in the future. Who knows?

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Posted by K. Lee at 2:43 | Permalink

02 June 2008

Korean Rain

Not the pop star, of course; I'm referring to the rain of the hydrological variety. Today was the first day of rain in my stay so far here in Korea, and man, it is quite a doozy. It poured for most of the morning, cleared up some for the afternoon, and is now pouring the evening. We don't get rain like this much in LA, although I do remember some great rainstorms. It's always interesting to see these rains. Life doesn't stop because of the rain; people keep moving along. I know if we had rain like this in LA, people would freak out and complain about the weather. For people here, it's just a natural part of life. They just carry on. Oh sure, there are extra precautions they have to take because of the rain, but it's nothing they don't expect. It makes me wonder about people who live in areas with more extreme weather conditions, like regular hurricanes or droughts. Do they see it as just part of everyday life? How do you structure your life around such chaotic events?

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Posted by Joel Kim at 2:41 | Permalink

01 June 2008

Digital Books

There are two digital book reader devices out there: Sony's Reader Digital Book and Amazon's Kindle. Amazon's device is much better marketed than Sony's. Since Amazon is where one tends to go for books, it is a natural extension of Amazon. When we think books, we think Amazon. Sony's audience is more tech based. From its website down to its design, it is designed for the more digitally inclined group. While Sony allows one to load ones own personal files onto the device at no extra charge, the device requires hook-up to a computer to manage the digital library. Amazon allows this all to happen directly from the device. Sony's is more a a peripheral device for the computer while Amazon's is a stand-alone device. Yet the extra charges that Amazon loads onto its device are annoying. It makes things so easy to do because it snips charges away from at every step. Amazon also has a larger capacity for book storage and for battery charges. Sony's advertising isn't great. During the video explanation, the advertiser says that the device costs around $300. The actual pricing is $299.99. By saying $300, they lose the pricing advantage that they had. People realize that $299.99 is basically $300, but it doesn't hit the pricing point when it is $299.99, which makes it seem more affordable. This, and other marketing mistakes really hurts Sony. They may win with the Blu-Ray, but they're definitely loosing on the digital reader device.

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Posted by K. Lee at 9:08 | Permalink

01 June 2008


No, not maggots, I'm talking about the palatable kind (I've been reading a bunch of O. Henry, hence the language of the title). I've had the opportunity to enjoy much good, honest home-made Korean food here. My grandmother is a wonderful cook (although evidently my mom didn't pick up much from her), and I've been gratefully enjoying her hospitality. Korean food isn't just kalbi or bulgogi. Korean BBQ is more for special occasions. No, most traditional Korean food is more similar to kimchi, the sharp fermented cabbage stuff. It is possible to summarize most of Korean cuisine with one word: "pickle." A typical Korean meal has rice and many small dishes (banchan). You pick and choose what you want. It's different from Chinese cuisine, which as my friend Brandon Jue puts it, is "a big steaming pile of food on a plate."

Continue reading "Grub" »

Posted by Joel Kim at 4:51 | Permalink

01 June 2008


Korea so far has been wonderful. I'm unfortunately still jet-lagged (I crash around 10 PM and wake up at 5), but it's slowly getting better. I'm still staying at my maternal grandparents' place in Yeonshinnae (I sleep in their upstairs study). It's really good to see my grandparents again. It's been 4 years since I last saw them. They seem to be doing really well, healthy and all. What kind of saddens me is that there is a limit to the amount of interaction I can have with my grandparents, specifically due to the language barrier. My grandparents will never learn English, and it is unlikely that I would be able to learn enough Korean to communicate all of my thoughts with them. I guess this is how it is for most children of immigrant parents. It must be tough for my grandparents, to see the son of their own child and be able to full communicate everything...Well, I guess that's just the way it is. Besides, mothers don't communicate love through words. They communicate through food. When they feed you, they are really saying "I love you." Love you too, grandmom. Wish I could really tell you as much.

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Posted by Joel Kim at 3:13 | Permalink